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The last day of the Sovereign Ski Topper Worlds was on Friday 19th August and it was always going to be a tense day with such titles on the line. The start was moved forward by PRO Con Murphy in order to go for three races and complete the full quota of races as planned. At first, the wind did not play ball, as the predicted big winds did not yet appear, however around 11am, some breeze did come in.  

Going into the final day, the Irish had much to play for with Patrick Crosbie in 3rd position and Tim Brow in 7th position while a number of other Irish were top 20 and top 30 overall. Flukey, variable winds that steadily built, with a sideways swell were the conditions with much inconsistency across the fleets.

On the last day, in the three races, Patrick Crosbie, Andrew Penney and Tim Brow collected a top 10 with all the other Irish featuring somewhere in the teens and 20s in the impossible-to-read conditions. Matt Venables (GBR) had won the Championship before the last race but the final two positions on the podium were still all to play for between Laura Gilmore, Robbie Robinson, Patrick Crosbie and Dan Venables.

The last race saw Gary Fekkes (IRL) leading around the course for the first lap and looked set for a race win when, on the second beat controlling the middle of the course, a massive 40-degree right-hand windshift destroyed his chances with anyone on the right benefiting massively. Very unlucky for him and also many of the leaders, Laura Gilmore and Patrick Crosbie caught out as well with both finishing low in the race. Robbie Robinson won the last race to collect the silver medal therefore the bronze medal was determined whether Dan Venables had a good race, enough to make up the points on Patrick's previous 17th place discard that he would now carry as he was outside top 20. Luckily Dan finished 11th which meant in the overall standings, Patrick was to get the bronze medal with Dan one point behind in 4th overall with Laura in 5th. 

Tim Brow, meanwhile dropped to 10th overall in the final placings, still a great result, but a little disappointing when he was as high as 7th before last race. Erica Ruigrok did well to finish 4th girl and 15th overall while young Liam Glynn finished a most impressive top 20 in his first international regatta while Dougie Power, Katie Kane, Andrew Penney and Aisling Keller came in 21st, 24th, 25th and 27th position to round out the top 30 with Lucy Burrows and Gary Fekkes just outside in 31st and 32nd.

This capped a superb performance by all the Irish sailors and particularly the ISA Topper Squad coached by Barry McCartin and Ben Scallan. Alan Ruigrok was another coach that contributed to such strong results from the Irish with a further four Irish sailors in Gold Fleet. While, in the Silver and Bronze fleets, the were more great results, with many Irish race-wins and great final positions, many from up-and-coming young sailors showing great potential. It is good to see the next generation appearing and makes the selection of next year's squads all the more difficult which in this case may be no bad thing.

Full results are available here.

See here for photographs from Gareth Craig / Fotosail

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On Day 4, Thursday of the Topper Worlds, more light winds were forecast, albeit this time without the sun that overlooked the previous day. This reduced the chance of any sea breeze and so there was only a very light gradient breeze all day never more than 5-6 knots, sometimes as low as 2 knots while racing. Unpredictable, random and difficult conditions for all.

Timothy Brow had a blinding start in Race 1 off the committee boat. He tacked soon after towards the right to take a comfortable lead which he held to the finish. Katie Kane was 7th with Blue-Bib man Patrick Crosbie in 12th.

Up to this point, in the final series it had all been Irish Race winners, however in the 2nd race the overall leader Matt Venables won, closely followed by Erica Ruigrok who ended up 4th,  Liam Glynn a 5th with Tim again at the top scoring an 8th with the rest of the irish all having a better race as well, all finishing not far behind. Due to lack of wind the 3rd race on Day 4 was then postponed to the last day Friday with the fleet sent ashore about 4.30pm.

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Day 3 of the Sovereign Ski Topper World Championships dawned with blue skies but little wind in the harbour. The fleet launched at 10.15 with the first start scheduled for 11.30 but unfortunately it had to be postponed. After much waiting around, the wind flicked and the sea breeze settled in to about 7-10 knots on the racecourse.

For the first race the sea breeze had not yet fully developed and the wind was still changing direction. Patrick Crosbie (IRL) took the lead at the windward mark and never looked back thereafter taking the race win. Liam Glynn sailed a smart race to come in 5th with Aisling Keller in 6th and Katie Kane 10th.

The wind stabilised for the 2nd race but with more breeze on the left this time many of the fleet were caught out. Andrew Penney nailed his pin-end start to cross the fleet and join the leading bunch at the top mark. He was leading for a period but eventually settled for 5th with Patrick Crosbie again solid in 6th and Laura Gilmore winning the race.

The Gold Fleet managed a 3rd race with the Silver and Bronze Fleets returning to shore after two races. The Irish had a strong showing in the final race with Patrick Crosbie dominating again to take the race gun in 1st and Gary Fekkes not far away in 6th with Erica Ruigrok in 8th. Tim Brow dropped to 11th place, Dougie Power getting a 14th to add to an earlier 12th and Andrew Penney and Katie Kane finishing in the top 20 also.

After Day 3, the Irish have generally moved up the leaderboard. Most prominent of all is Patrick Crosbie who moves into 2nd overall but for now, still a long way off the leader Matt Venables (GBR). Tim Brow dropped to 11th overall, Aisling Keller had a good day and now lies in 21st overall with Gary Fekkes in 22nd. Katie Kane is in 23rd, Liam Glynn 24th, Erica Ruigrok 26th, Dougie Power 28th and Andrew Penney making up the top 30.

Full results are available here.

See here for photographs from Gareth Craig / Fotosail

See here for more information.


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Day 2 of the Sovereign Ski Topper World Championships was certainly unpredictable. The day began with glorious sunshine but that then lead to fog and poor visibility, lots of rain, changeable winds which reached between 12 and 17 knots and then once again, blistering sunshine. Conditions were tough and multiple capsizes across the fleets were witnessed in Dublin Bay.

However, that did not hamper the sailing and the event remains on schedule with three more races having been completed. A total of six races have been sailed including one discard. 

For the Irish, the stand out performer was Tim Brow who scored very well yesterday with a 2, 3, 2. He moves up to 4th overall. Patrick Crosbie stays in 11th overall with an 8, 6, 4 for yesterday's efforts. Sorcha Donnelly and Suzanne Flannigan scored top 10 results in two races today with Erica Ruigrok, Aisling Keller, Dougie Power and Craig Campbell also collecting at least one top 10. 

The event now enters its Final Series and is split into Gold, Silver and Bronze Fleets. This will make it more competitive for those at the top which should allow for some exciting racing and better chances of a few new winners.

In the 59 boat Gold Fleet there are 16 Irish sailors with 14 sailing under IRL which is a great effort from all involved. 

Full results are available here.

See here for more information.


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Dublin Bay was a blaze of colour yesterday as 166 sailors successfully completed the full three race quota for the opening day of the Sovereign Ski Topper World Championships 2011 held by the National Yacht Club Competitors from as far afield as Korea took to the water in this high calibre event. There are almost 70 Irish entries taking part which is a reasonable entry from the host nation.

On Day 1 the winds were light and patchy, sometimes reaching 11 knots. The average wind speed of around 7 knots but sometimes reaching as low as 3 knots. It was a difficult and shifty day with consistency hard to come by.

From the three races that took place the Irish results were very good. Most noteworthy were both Laura Gilmore and Liam Glynn each taking race wins, with Liam also scoring a 10th and a 3rd to sit in 7th overall and Tim Brow having a good day to sit 10th overall. Other consistent Irish performers were Patrick Crosbie in 11th, Gary Fekkes in 20th, Lucy Burrows 21st and Katie Kane in 25th overall with many other Irish scoring good race results as well.

Today is the second and final day of qualifying before the Final Series. Tomorrow the fleet will be split into Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets and the finals will then run until Friday afternoon.

Full results are available here.

See here for more information.

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Racing starts today in Dun Laoghaire for the Sovereign Ski Topper World Championships which are being hosted by the National Yacht Club.

Updates to follow...
Posted in: Youth Sailing
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